Digital Marketing in a Post-Brexit Britain

Written by Karl Chevalier: Senior digital executive.
· 4 minute read

According to a recent IPA Bellwether report assessing the optimism of Britain’s marketing budgets (or lack of), 34% of businesses who were asked reported they were pessimistic about future budgets. 8% of the 300 companies asked were optimistic about future budgets, resulting in a net balance of overall negativity. However, despite this, 60% of those asked reported that their overall marketing budgets remained the same.

Despite the backdrop of pessimism seen in the report, a net balance of 8.7% of marketers said their budgets had increased in the first three months of the year, with digital marketing specifically seeing a net balance jump from 2.1% to 17.2% for Q1 2019. Within this industry, the general consensus is that our industry understands that the best way to protect your brand is to invest in it.

Maintaining brand presence and reputation is particularly important in the digital marketing sphere; consumers are becoming increasingly less loyal and businesses are having to do more to maintain the same level of custom. If a brand was to reduce its marketing budget over Brexit uncertainty, other brands will quickly fill the void that’s left, scooping up any wandering consumers.

Maintaining your key performing digital marketing channels is important as it ensures competitors don’t fill the space you have left. Many brands will likely be monitoring their competitor’s budgets very closely, hoping to see a reduction in marketing spend that will leave space for them to swoop in and fill any void that’s left at a much-reduced cost. If you reduce your marketing budget now and you do lose visibility, you will only find it harder to regain that visibility at a later date, outweighing any money saved by having your budgets reduced.

Will Brexit have an impact on my digital marketing efforts?

With the wheels of Brexit being in motion now for some time, most SMEs will likely have a clearer picture of the potential impacts Brexit may or may not have on their industry or business. In order to work out if you have been impacted, or will be impacted by any changes, you first need to establish if you have already taken a hit. The main reason many SMEs are likely to see a hit is a change in user behaviour, with uncertainly clouding consumer purchasing decisions.

Taking this into account, you should likely have an idea of how Brexit is currently affecting the performance of your business, by taking a look at a few key factors:

Spend: Are you having to spend more to reach the same amount of customers?

Traffic: Has your organic or direct traffic taken a hit recently? (despite your rankings maintaining their positions/and without any other external factors you’re aware of)

It’s likely the impacts of Brexit will be felt before the date itself, meaning if you are not experiencing any unexpected changes in user behaviour currently, and your sales don’t rely upon sales within the EU specifically, you likely don’t need to worry.

One thing to bear in mind is that despite the UK leaving the European Union, you will still need to comply with GDPR. This is because the UK government will be transitioning all current EU legislation into UK Law.  This essentially means it’s business as usual for UK Business, unless of course there was a no-deal Brexit.